Speak Now For Kids’ Family Advocacy Day
Advocacy is a powerful way for kids and their families to get involved and make a difference for children’s health and children’s hospitals across the nation, especially when they’ve experienced firsthand the quality and necessary care children’s hospitals provide.
To encourage past and current pediatric patients to share their stories of how children’s hospitals have positively impacted their health care journey, Speak Now For Kids hosts an annual Family Advocacy Day.
Each summer, nearly 50 patient families from across the country come together to engage with federal lawmakers on topics including Medicaid – the single largest source of health care coverage for kids, youth mental health, the pediatric workforce and more. All of these children have been diagnosed with a serious health condition and rely on Congress to advance policies that would strengthen children’s access to health care and our nation’s health care workforce.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic when our event was in-person, champions would arrive in Washington D.C. to explore the city and attend a dinner celebration with other patient families. The dinner featured inspiring speakers, fun games, and activities for kids to take part in before heading to Capitol Hill the next day.
Over the last two years, Speak Now For Kids has hosted Family Advocacy Week virtually, focusing on how the pandemic has impacted children living with serious health conditions. This also allowed families who don’t have the ability to travel to participate and raise awareness of child health policies.
Each year participants log well over 100 meetings with their members of Congress to emphasize the importance of investing in children’s health care. Each child is able to talk about their unique story and share how their local children’s hospital is keeping them healthy today.
Family Advocacy Day gives patients and their families a chance to meet other kids and caregivers who have been through similar experiences, building lifelong relationships among our champions. For many of these participants, it’s also the first time they have ever spoken with elected officials, experiencing what it means to be an advocate.
Speak Now For Kids looks forward to hosting its 17th annual Family Advocacy Day this June 12-14, 2022 to continue giving patient families the chance to tell their impactful stories! Stay tuned to our blog as we share more about our 2022 participants this spring.